Laith Al-Saadi
Gig Seeker Pro

Laith Al-Saadi

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States | SELF

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Blues Classic Rock

Calendar

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Laith Al-Saadi - Real."

Laith Al-Saadi
Real
WeberWorks

On his third album, Ann Arbor native Laith Al-Saadi continues to astound with his soulful blend of electrifying blues guitar work and stellar songwriting. Recorded live to two-track, Real opens with "Gone," Al-Saadi's quiet acoustic guitar framing the drum work of Jim Keltner and sparse yet supporting bass of Lee Sklar in a somber number showing both Laith's tasteful guitar work as well as his rich, commanding vocal style. Up next is the rowdy "What It Means" with Al-Saadi's Telecaster taking the listener to New Orleans, riding atop some gritty horn work and a second-line drum pattern, with Larry Golding's tasty B-3 organ taking a cue from the likes of Jimmy Smith. Al-Saadi channels a bit of Roy Buchanan with his solo, and adds some nifty double-stop melody lines à la Danny Gatton -- and he has the chops to pull it off, in spades.
"Complete Disgrace" is a brooding number with Jimmy Vivino's resonator guitar echoing Al-Saadi's weary vocal, full of menace and trepidation -- "I've got to leave this town before I blow" -- and Al-Saadi's solo is fierce, a tour-de-force of slow burning lines that reaches impossibly high, but always with his restrained and tasteful musical soul shining through. The song would be a natural for Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule, but I dare say Haynes couldn't top Laith's mastery with the six-string. The Band's "Ophelia" is a well-chosen cover which Al-Saadi brings home in grand fashion, a faithful version that only misses Levon Helm's scrappy vocals.
In short, Real is a rare treat, and further cements Laith Al-Saadi's stature as a blues guitarist to watch -- fiery yet tuneful, he knows when to shred and when to hit the groove. You'll be hearing more from this guy -- he's a monster. A Real monster.


James Mann
- Ink 19


"Laith Al-Saadi: the hardest working man in (Ann Arbor) show business?"

Posted on Tue, Apr 10, 2012
Laith Al-Saadi: the hardest working man in (Ann Arbor) show business?
By Will Stewart

He was singing in the Boychoir of Ann Arbor at age 4 and picked up his first guitar when he was 13.
When his high school friends were flipping burgers for comic-book money, he was gigging regularly with the Community High School Jazz Band and, by, 18, he’d already toured the Netherlands with his then-band, Blue Vinyl.

Ask Laith Al-Saadi and he’ll tell you: All he’s ever really wanted to do is play music.

“Yeah, I guess I always knew I was going to perform,” the 34-year-old singer-guitarist said during a recent chat over tea at Sweetwaters. “It’s just kind of always been what I do.”

Pick a night of the week and chances are, Al-Saadi is playing somewhere. With weekly gigs at Melange, Bar Louie, and the Black Pearl—plus frequent trips out of town, out of state and out of country—he’s unquestionably one of the busiest working musicians in the area.

“Nothing lights a fire under you quite like the threat of having to get a day job,” he joked about his busy schedule.

And he’d know; he hasn’t had a “real job” since he was 16.

“I just feel fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living,” he said. “I don’t take it for granted for a second.”

Laith Live

Although Laith Al-Saadi often plays weekend gigs at various area venues, you can be sure to catch him at one of his regular weeknight appearances:
Mondays: 10pm-2am at The Arena (Corner of 4th & Washington, Ann Arbor)
Tuesdays: Starting at 7 p.m. at Black Pearl, 302 S. Main St., Ann Arbor.
Wednesdays: Starting at 8 p.m. at Bar Louie, 401 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor.

In fact, for all his local omnipresence, Al-Saadi may very well be the guy being taken for granted. While his local shows are popular and his reputation among club owners and bookers is stellar, Al-Saadi can travel a few hours away to, say, Traverse City, and pack a 350-capacity club two nights in a row. He can do the same in Amsterdam. Or Los Angeles.
But here at home, he’s a such a fixture that his considerable skills can be overlooked.

“I love Ann Arbor and I love that we have such an eclectic scene here,” he said. “But sometimes it’s hard to get people to come out to the shows.”

But with three albums to his credit, as well as having opened gigs for B.B.King, Luther Allison and Taj Mahal, among others, Al-Saadi is a lot ore than just busy.

He’s good. Real good. Good enough to hold his own with just about any guitar slinger in town, while maintaining the low-key good nature of a guy you might jam with in your basement for fun.

Al-Saadi plays a mixture of original tunes and covers, ranging from the Beatles to Joni Mitchell to Bob Dylan and beyond. It’s good-time, beer-drinking music, based in classic rock and the blues, which, Al-Saadi is quick to acknowledge, provides the foundation for most of what he does.

“I’m a huge Beatles fan and I’ve always gravitated to music from, let’s say, 1964-1974—from Motown to jazz to rock,” he said. And when he began to explore the influences of some of his favorite bands, that led him to previous generations of bluesmen, who have similarly informed his own music.

“I’ve never really thought of playing covers as “playing covers,’” he said, referring to a tendency of musicians to look down their noses at colleagues who play other peoples’ tunes.

“I love the idea of playing music people want to hear and trying to do what you can to put your own kind of spin on songs that everybody knows.”

Al-Saadi’s chosen path hasn’t been without its sacrifices. It isn’t an easy life scuffling for gigs, staying up all hours, and sleeping while everyone else is awake.

“Life can just kind of pass you by if you let it,” he said. “Choosing to live the life of an artist is selfish on some level, and it really isn’t very practical in terms of things like not having insurance and not really being able to settle down.

“But I don’t think too much about the downsides, because this is whatI’ve always wanted to do.”

2012 is shaping up to be a busy year for the snger-guitarist. In addition to his rigorous local schedule, he’ll likely be hitting the festival circuit during the summer months.

Then there’s the issue of the three or so albums of new, original material he’s planning to record and release before the year is out.

But for the kid who never envisioned doing anything else, that’s the right kind of busy.

“All I can do is make sure the music I play is as good as it can be and that I’m making people as happy as I can make them,” he said.

For more information, see Al-Saadi's website, www.laithmusic.com/. - AnnArbor.com


"Laith Al-Saadi: the hardest working man in (Ann Arbor) show business?"

Posted on Tue, Apr 10, 2012
Laith Al-Saadi: the hardest working man in (Ann Arbor) show business?
By Will Stewart

He was singing in the Boychoir of Ann Arbor at age 4 and picked up his first guitar when he was 13.
When his high school friends were flipping burgers for comic-book money, he was gigging regularly with the Community High School Jazz Band and, by, 18, he’d already toured the Netherlands with his then-band, Blue Vinyl.

Ask Laith Al-Saadi and he’ll tell you: All he’s ever really wanted to do is play music.

“Yeah, I guess I always knew I was going to perform,” the 34-year-old singer-guitarist said during a recent chat over tea at Sweetwaters. “It’s just kind of always been what I do.”

Pick a night of the week and chances are, Al-Saadi is playing somewhere. With weekly gigs at Melange, Bar Louie, and the Black Pearl—plus frequent trips out of town, out of state and out of country—he’s unquestionably one of the busiest working musicians in the area.

“Nothing lights a fire under you quite like the threat of having to get a day job,” he joked about his busy schedule.

And he’d know; he hasn’t had a “real job” since he was 16.

“I just feel fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living,” he said. “I don’t take it for granted for a second.”

Laith Live

Although Laith Al-Saadi often plays weekend gigs at various area venues, you can be sure to catch him at one of his regular weeknight appearances:
Mondays: 10pm-2am at The Arena (Corner of 4th & Washington, Ann Arbor)
Tuesdays: Starting at 7 p.m. at Black Pearl, 302 S. Main St., Ann Arbor.
Wednesdays: Starting at 8 p.m. at Bar Louie, 401 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor.

In fact, for all his local omnipresence, Al-Saadi may very well be the guy being taken for granted. While his local shows are popular and his reputation among club owners and bookers is stellar, Al-Saadi can travel a few hours away to, say, Traverse City, and pack a 350-capacity club two nights in a row. He can do the same in Amsterdam. Or Los Angeles.
But here at home, he’s a such a fixture that his considerable skills can be overlooked.

“I love Ann Arbor and I love that we have such an eclectic scene here,” he said. “But sometimes it’s hard to get people to come out to the shows.”

But with three albums to his credit, as well as having opened gigs for B.B.King, Luther Allison and Taj Mahal, among others, Al-Saadi is a lot ore than just busy.

He’s good. Real good. Good enough to hold his own with just about any guitar slinger in town, while maintaining the low-key good nature of a guy you might jam with in your basement for fun.

Al-Saadi plays a mixture of original tunes and covers, ranging from the Beatles to Joni Mitchell to Bob Dylan and beyond. It’s good-time, beer-drinking music, based in classic rock and the blues, which, Al-Saadi is quick to acknowledge, provides the foundation for most of what he does.

“I’m a huge Beatles fan and I’ve always gravitated to music from, let’s say, 1964-1974—from Motown to jazz to rock,” he said. And when he began to explore the influences of some of his favorite bands, that led him to previous generations of bluesmen, who have similarly informed his own music.

“I’ve never really thought of playing covers as “playing covers,’” he said, referring to a tendency of musicians to look down their noses at colleagues who play other peoples’ tunes.

“I love the idea of playing music people want to hear and trying to do what you can to put your own kind of spin on songs that everybody knows.”

Al-Saadi’s chosen path hasn’t been without its sacrifices. It isn’t an easy life scuffling for gigs, staying up all hours, and sleeping while everyone else is awake.

“Life can just kind of pass you by if you let it,” he said. “Choosing to live the life of an artist is selfish on some level, and it really isn’t very practical in terms of things like not having insurance and not really being able to settle down.

“But I don’t think too much about the downsides, because this is whatI’ve always wanted to do.”

2012 is shaping up to be a busy year for the snger-guitarist. In addition to his rigorous local schedule, he’ll likely be hitting the festival circuit during the summer months.

Then there’s the issue of the three or so albums of new, original material he’s planning to record and release before the year is out.

But for the kid who never envisioned doing anything else, that’s the right kind of busy.

“All I can do is make sure the music I play is as good as it can be and that I’m making people as happy as I can make them,” he said.

For more information, see Al-Saadi's website, www.laithmusic.com/. - AnnArbor.com


Discography

2013 - "REAL." - The new critically acclaimed live to 2-track album featuring an all-star cast of musicians including Jim Keltner, Lee Sklar, Larry Goldings, Jimmy Vivino, Tom Scott and more....

2009 release 'In the Round' got rave reviews from publications like Music Connection, Music Street Journal, Detroit's 'Metro Times', and it's gritty Blues 'Chains' won "Coolest Blues Song of 2010" from Big City Blues Magazine!

2005 Release 'Long Time Coming' was Al-Saadi's Debut Solo Album. It received great critical attention in the Detroit Market and was nominated for several awards in '05 including a DMA.

All 3 albums are available on itunes, CDbaby and wherever fine music is sold on the internet!

www.cdbaby.com/laithalsaadi3

Photos

Bio

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI, this talented 36 year old began singing at age 4 and began playing guitar at 13. At 15 years old Al- Saadi formed his first blues band, "Blue Vinyl". By the time he was 18 years old they had opened for Blues greats like Buddy Guy, Luther Allison, Son Seals, and Taj Mahal and toured the Netherlands. After graduating from High School, Al-Saadi attended the University of Michigan where he recieved a degree in Jazz Guitar and Bass. During his college years, Al-Saadi was a member of the Johnny Trudell Orchestra and freelanced with many of Detroit's greats like Thornetta Davis, Jocelyn B, The Reefermen. In 2004 Al-Saadi was the lead singer/guitarist of the Detroit Lion's pep band. Since 2000, Laith Al-Saadi has enjoyed growing success as the Detroit area's premier singer and guitarist. Working relentlessly around town, Al-Saadi generally can be found playing at least 5 nights a week. This determination has led to recent opening slots for artists like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Leon Russell, Robben Ford, Johnny Winter, Hubert Sumlin, Olu Dara, Ten Years After, Mountain, The Yardbirds and - most notably- BB King at the House of Blues in Chicago (June 8th, 2006). In 2006, Al-Saadi was crowned "King of the Blues" for the Northern Region of the United States by Guitar Center. This makes him one of the top 4 Blues guitarists in the Country. In GUITAR WORLD magazine (Nov. 2006) Al-Saadi was heralded as sounding like "Danny Gatton and Buddy Guy at their best". His first release, "Long Time Coming", is a collection of original songs that has recieved rave reviews by the Ann Arbor News, Metro Times, Current Magazine and the Detroit News. The album has been enjoying airplay at home and abroad. In Jan. 2009 Al-Saadi released his second solo effort, In the Round. The record is an eclectic collection of all-original music that explores many facets of Al-Saadi's influences...
In 2013, Al-Saadi teamed up with producer Jeffrey Weber and an all star cast of L.A. session legends to make his third release "REAL.". The album was recorded live to 2-track with no edits, overdubs, autotune or compression at the world famous Ocean Way Recording Studios in Hollywood. The album features a dream-band of musicians such as Jim Keltner (Drums), Leland Sklar (Bass), Larry Goldings (Hammond B-3), Jimmy Vivino (Rhythm Gtr/ Backing Vox), Tom Scott (Sax), Lee Thornburg (Tpt), Brandon Fields (Bari Sax), Nick Lane (Trombone / Horn Arranger) and more...
The soulful new album harkens back to the great musical traditions of New Orleans and Chicago with a splash of Blues, Country, Gospel, and Roots Rock and is arguably Al-Saadi's best work to date. It is sure to please Audiophiles, Telecaster fanatics and music lovers of all kinds! The album will be released in the fall of 2013! Do yourself a favor and get "REAL." today!